Adams Papers

John Adams to Abigail Adams, 20 February 1797

John Adams to Abigail Adams

Phila. Feb. 20. 1797

My dearest Friend

just rcd yrs of 8. 9. 13th. return sister Peabodys lovely Letter.1 John’s is gone to the P.— I could not withhold it.2

All thoughts of building a Barn or Coach house I must lay aside for this Year— I cant bear the thought of it.— My head and hands are so full—and Expences so great.

in March I will send Provision for Taxes, Haydens Note &c

French may break up the 4 Acres if he will. Brisler will ship the Clover seed this Week, in Captn Gardiner consigned to Mr Smith.3 French may have the Place for two Years, if he will.

Mr Malcom arrived here last night and Acts this Morning as my private Secretary.

inclosed is Mrs Washingtons Answer to yr Letter.4

I believe it best you should Stay till October—but if that is the final Plan I will be with you in June— But you must keep all these Things Secret. The foundation is not yet laid when it is I can set up my Plan.— It is not yet known what Congress will do about house & furniture— When it is, I shall settle my Arrangments.

Johns Letter, tho in familiar confidence to a Mother is the most beautiful Thing I ever read.

Oh Thomas I wish I had thy droll face at my fireside. I must have him home. Charles is doing Charmingly. Gets more than he Spends without my help.

J. A5

RC (Adams Papers); internal address: “Mrs A.”

1For AA’s 9 Feb. letter to JA, see JA to AA, 9 Feb., note 2, above. For Elizabeth Smith Shaw Peabody to AA, 10 Jan., see above.

2JQA to AA, 14 Nov. 1796, above, a portion of which was published in the Philadelphia Gazette of the United States on 22 Feb. 1797. George Washington returned JQA’s letter to JA with a note dated 20 Feb., praising JQA as “the most valuable public character we have abroad” and urging JA not to “withhold merited promotion” because of the filial relationship (Adams Papers).

3Probably Capt. George Gardner of the Pomona (Boston and Charlestown Ship Registers description begins Ship Registers and Enrollments of Boston and Charlestown, Boston, 1942. description ends , p. 165; Philadelphia Gazette, 25 Feb. 1797).

5JA also wrote to AA on 16 Feb. to say that he had taken leave of the Senate, that he had given AA’s letter to Martha Washington, and that he approved of renting out Quincy’s Meadow (Adams Papers).

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